Monday, July 23, 2012

Still Out of the Boat (Part 1)

In honor of my 200th blog post, I've been fiddling with the blog. If you're reading this in a reader or on a mobile device you may not see anything different, but I'm trying to spruce things up around here. I'm also in the process of renewing my focus for Out of the Boat and revamping the schedule, but we'll talk more about that in August.

For this week, I want to answer a question that I get asked with some frequency.

Why did you name the blog Out of the Boat?

I'm going to answer by revisiting a couple of blog posts that were written in April of 2010 when this blog was just a baby, and when I couldn't say "I'm a writer" without turning red and stammering over the words. Some things have changed in the past two years, but one thing hasn't.

I'm still Out of the Boat.


Out of the Boat - Part 1

Matthew 14: 27-30 - But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me."

Lynn's synopsis: Peter jumped out. Peter freaked out. Peter called out.

I am so out of the boat.

I guess I didn't exactly jump out of the boat. It was more like a tumble (I'm not known for being graceful). But regardless, I'm out of the boat.

And I am freaking out about it.

Bless Peter. I'm so glad he's in the Bible. I love him. I love that he had a big mouth and a big temper and that he blew it - frequently and spectacularly. And I'm thrilled that God used Peter and we all can smile when we read about Peter's antics in the gospels, because we know how the story turns out. How Peter became a bold and courageous apostle. How he lived - and died - for Christ.

But today, I'm thinking about how Peter freaked out.

The man got out of the boat. Of his own free will, he stepped out of a perfectly good boat and onto water. Water! And he walked on it. We don't know how far he walked before he realized what he had done. Maybe it was a few steps. Maybe 50 yards. But regardless, Jesus called him and he obeyed. And then he totally lost it.

For the past week or so, I've been freaking out quite a bit, once a day, OK fine. A lot. We'll leave it at that.

For me, getting out of the boat has more to do with telling people I'm a writer than the actual writing. Because now that people know . . . what do they expect? Will I be explaining to people five years from now, ten years from now, that 'yes, I'm still writing but no, I haven't been published'?

Was there any reason for Peter to get out of the boat, other than to be obedient to the call?
Does it matter if I'm ever published? Maybe to my pride. But otherwise, no. What matters is that I'm taking the next step, in obedience to my Father.

So why am I freaking out? Because I'm a perfectionist. Because I care way too much about what people think about me. Because I'm afraid of going to this conference and being embarrassed by my naivety. Because I've gotten my eyes off of my Father and on myself. Because I'm trying to do "this" myself when I'm not even sure what "this" is. Because I'm thinking about me - me - me.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" -Matthew 14: 30-31

I have no idea why Jesus wanted Peter to get out of the boat and I have no idea why God wants me to write. But it's not just about me. God is up to something. God is always up to something. He's that kind of God!

And when I call out to Him, He takes hold of me and says, "Baby, why are you doubting?"

Ps. 138:8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Credits: A friend of mine posted about how Jesus is always there for us when we've jumped, or been pushed, or went kicking and screaming, out of the boat. I've been thinking about it ever since. You can read her comments here. Thanks for the encouragement Kim!
I wrote these words over two years ago and I'm amazed how true they still are today. I'm living life at the place where fear and faith collide. How about you? Have you stepped out in faith and now are freaking out? Tell us where you are in the journey!


Sandra said...

Lynn this is so weird. We had a visiting preacher yesterday and last night he talked about Peter walking on the water. When Peter took his eyes off Jesus and started concentrating on the storm is when he started to sink...moral of the story - we need to keep our eyes on Jesus...I love it! And, I love all your posts!! Luvya!

Debra Koontz Traverso said...

Lynn, your new site is absolutely beautiful. Perfect theme, pulled together w/ meaning, lovely colors (that match!)...just wonderful. And, I loved reading the story behind your theme because I didn't meet you until after you had it going. I'm honored to be a recipient of your work! Keep writing! Luv ya!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Thanks Sandra!
Deb - Glad you like it. I'm not a web designer and I'm notoriously bad at color combinations...but this will have to do until I can afford a "real" web design :-). Praying for light for you today!

Jamie Britt said...

Oh Lynn, wow! You and Edie have been hitting me over the head with the "spiritual hammer" for the last few days! I didn't dare say "I am a writer" until last year at NCompass when Edie made me repeat it after her. And then, her words "you're now a writer because Edie Melson said so." Those words may not mean much to you, but they changed my life! Love you!

Vonda Skelton said...

Your 200th blog? Congratulations, you writer you! You've already accomplished so much, Lynn. I'm honored to have been on the sidelines watching you grow and succeed.

I've said from the beginning that you have an engaging voice that people will love. Guess what! I was right!!

But alas, this post isn't about me and how right I was, but about you and how faithful you've been to do what He's called you to do!

(But just for the record, I WAS RIGHT!) :-)

Cathy Baker said...

Congrats! I love that you re-visited the title's meaning as it reminded me of a few vital truths and it gave me an even greater appreciation for your blog. :) Keep up the great work, Lynn.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Jamie - I know! Those little words are SO hard at first! But they are important!
Vonda - You've been more active than on the sidelines! I'm so thankful for all your encouragement!
Cathy - Thanks! I realized that "newer" readers had probably never heard the story. I'm glad it resonated with you!
(Anyone notice how many exclamation points I use in the comments?!)